Some time ago, someone I considered a friend decided our friendship was too much of a bother. All communication was cut. No explanations, no apologies. I spun scenarios in my head, trying to determine how I messed things up, what I did to cause such a rift to happen. Nothing made sense, every recollection seemed normal. I worried I had hurt feelings, made possible transgressions that were not easy to forgive. In public the banter is still friendly when our paths cross, adding to the confusion. It seemed disconnected, forced.
And then I realized that all I had done wrong was offer an ear. I’m a big believer that a trouble shared is a trouble halved. I lent my shoulder and my ear, and perhaps sharing was something akin to breaking a confidence. I’ll never know. It’s a habit of mine to reach out and try to help others when they are distressed or sad. I’ve offered total strangers the comfort of my shoulder as they grieve for a sick relative. This time I got burned. But unlike other people who would learn a lesson from it, I refuse to let it dictate reaching out to others in the future.
There’s Bactine for that 🙂